So it turns out that my hosting provider offers the ability to run your own Jabber server. Here’s what I did to get this working.
Obviously this is somewhat specific to my hosting provider (Dreamhost), but it may be of interest to others, too.
1) Log onto the control panel and go to the Jabber IM section.
2) Add a Jabber user. Some Jabber client software will let you attempt to register a new account, but I don’t think that works with this server.
4) Once the account is setup and activated, you can log in using your Jabber client. Here I use Pandion, but anything should work.
5) Once you are logged in, you can add a Gmail/GTalk username as a contact.
6) In Gmail/GTalk the user will need to accept you as a contact. Once that’s done you can chat away.
(If you’ve read this far, and are interested in trying this out cheaply then I have some discount codes anyone can use.)